Civil Union Partners

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Civil union partners are partners who are in a civil union relationship. The exact level of rights, benefits, obligations, and responsibilities of civil union partners varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. For example, some jurisdictions allow civil union partners to adopt, while others forbid them to do so, or allow adoption only in specified circumstances.

Vermont's civil union partners have more than 300 state rights and responsibilities equivalent to same-sex couples but do not have any of the 1,138 federal rights and responsibilities of marriage. In New Jersey, civil union partners are entitled to all the rights granted to married couples, including: hospital visitation and medical decision-making; inheritance and the ability to collect survivor benefits; eligibility for tax deductions; the right not to testify against a partner in state court proceedings; adoption rights; and access to health insurance coverage that employers offer spouses.

New Development -- Same-Sex Marriage

The United States Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that same-sex marriage is legal in every state and each state must recognize a same-sex marriage performed in other states.

See Also Civil Union.

[Last updated in May of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]